First full Traffic Signs Manual chapters published

Dominic Browne

The first full chapters of the long-awaited Traffic Signs Manual (TSM) have been published.

Chapters 1 and 4 have been published by the TSO shop with PDF versions to follow shortly, and Department for Transport officials have suggested chapters 3,5 and 7 will be coming soon as well.

The TSM is the main source of guidance to accompany the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) - the bible of British signage - which was updated in 2016.

Chapter 1 of the TSM contains the new 'golden rules' of the new guidance. These include:

  • Provide signs only where a clear need has been identified
  • Signs should be minimal and sympathetic to the environment
  • Sign usage should be audited on a regular basis and a sign inventory should be maintained
  • existing signage should be reviewed
  • Signage use should be consistent
  • Sizes should be selected based on what is appropriate to the prevailing speed
  • Take full benefit from the flexibility of the TSRGD
  • Avoid the use of tall poles
  • Terminal signs should not necessarily be duplicated on each side of carriageway
  • At traffic signals and signal controlled pedestrian crossings two signal heads per approach should be suitable

The final draft of Chapter 6 is underway and publication is roughly scheduled for early 2019 and the draft for Chapter 7 is almost finished with a possible publication in Spring 2019.

Chapter 6 is a completely section for those designing traffic signal junctions and crossings on roads with a speed limit of 40mph and under particularly in urban areas.

The guidance will focus on all types of pedestrian crossings and take more account of the sense of a place over a sense of movement, as well as reduce the dominance of vehicle traffic. There will be an emphasis on lnes, ease of movement and accessibility.


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